My parents were real sticklers for phone etiquette. Much like a telemarketer selling vinyl siding, I had a set script to open every conversation with.
"Hello Mrs. Brown. This is Lee calling. Is Ricky available to come to the phone?"
No alterations except the substitutions of names. My parents hated picking up a phone and having some kid blurt out, "Lee there?" and forbade me from ever doing it.
This made me sound like the biggest dork, but endeared me in the hearts of all my friends' parents who were also sick of picking up the phone to "Tammy there?" It also probably groomed me a bit for my stint in the business world and my briefer stint in telemarketing.
The other day, watching Law & Order SVU, Benson opens up her phone and says, "Benson. Go." And it sounds so natural. Like that's the way people should answer phones. So I thought I'd give it a try.
Ring, ring. (actually, my personal ringtone for Carol is the little snippet from Newcleus' Jam On It, where the little guys are yelling "Wiki, wiki, wiki, wiki... Shut up! Yeah, we know, we know." Mind you, it's a personalized ringtone and Carol's face pops up on the screen and Carol is the only person who calls me, so I'm fully aware who's calling.)
Me: "Lee. Go."
Carol: (pregnant pause) "Um. What the hell was that?"
Me: "It's the way I'm going to answer my phone from now on. Go."
Carol: "Um, no? You know who's calling and I know who I'm calling, so you just sound ridiculous."
Me: "Okay, then what about, 'Your loving husband. Go.'?" ( I don't know if that punctuation is right. I started getting lost when I started using apostrophes for quotes.)
Carol: "Quit telling me to go. You keep answering the phone like that and if you don't already know who's calling, you'll know it's me because I'll be the one hanging up. It'll be like "Ring, ring. Lee. Go. *click* Oh shit, now I gotta call Carol back."" (again, sorry about the quotations. I just figure they travel in pairs.)
And thus went my attempt to break from the ranks of formality and join the ultra-efficient world without cellphone hellos and goodbyes.
I'm still going to use it on the telemarketers though.